Description 37 - The Drive Home

You've heard Toronto, you've heard Ohio - now hear what's in between as I take the Subaru on its zillionth trip across the border. Featuring music from The Ambers, mashups, service roads, mysterious medians and the anti-Tim's.

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And if you want pictures, there's the enhanced version!

Associated links:
Country Style
680 News
The QEW on list of Ontario Provincial Highways
(about as geeky as it sounds)
Thorold Tunnel
Jordan Village
Anna Olson's bakery
(okay, so she's in Port Dalhousie now. Close. She was here.)
Anna and Sugar on Food Network Canada
The Ambers on myspace
(the only other place you can hear "Endless Summer"!)
The Peace Bridge
Consulate General Buffalo
WGR SportsRadio (was listening to the Sabres/Senators game)
New York State Thruway Authority
Angola Travel Plaza

Yes, on part of the trip, I was playing mashups from my nano. Let's see if I can keep track of them... Air 52's by ToToM, Electro Punk (Iggy vs. Bloc Party) by Electrosound, Last Minute Man (Missy vs. NIN) by Hidden Signal, Crazy Logic by Arty Fufkin (who I met on SL a while back), and Highway to Hell & Back (AC/DC vs. Kelly Clarkson vs. John Cougar vs. Green Day vs. some other things) as well as the absolute classic Juke Box Hero Project (Foreigner vs. Seger vs. others) by DJ John. Mashuptown and the BootieSF site are excellent places to get brilliant mashups, and I know they would appreciate your support. My two-year love affair with mashups was fostered by Adam Curry, so I'm very happy to hear he's back to playing them on the Daily Source Code, having ceased giving a crap.

I've tried a few times to record my visits with US customs on the other side of the Peace Bridge. The sound was always too bad (and coming from me, that's saying something) because I'd be there in the car and the officer would be in his/her little booth - the distance was too much. I got lucky this time with a cop who got off his ass to check around. Also, I keep trying to have the iRiver going in case one of them gets smart-assy, which sometimes happens but hasn't happened lately. I get asked the usual citizenship question and I answer as usual "dual - US and Canada", and once the guy asked "which one do you want to be now?" Hmmm. Sometimes they just want to know what set of questions to ask ("how long have you been in Canada" or "how long will you be in the US").

A few months before the 2002 US election, a customs officer said, "but you come from America, right?" Right.

"Okay, so you're American." Well, partially.

"No, if you're a dual citizen, but you're from America, that's the only thing we care about. You're a US citizen. The other one doesn't matter." Hmph.

Technically, this is pretty much true. But I kinda wanted to ask, "would it matter if my other citizenship was...say...Syrian? Or Iranian? Maybe Pakistani? Or maybe if I wasn't a blonde white girl fluent in English with no suspicious accent? Then would my other citizenship matter?"

But of course, that is not the time to ask questions like that, unless you want to pull over to that nice building over to the right and hang out for a little while. I just nodded with understanding, answered the rest of my questions and went on my way. And I decided that since I was such a US citizen, I'd vote in that damn election and the one after that. For all the good it did. Oh, well.

Description 37a - The Enhanced Drive Home

When a podcaster gets a hold of GarageBand and a digital camera, an enhanced podcast seem inevitable. So while recording for Description 37, I took pictures of stuff along the way, as you will hear by the annoying pauses and programmed camera noises. So while there isn't anything useful like, oh, say, chapters and compression in there (I just found compression in GB near the end of editing this! Genius again.), there are nice photos that kinda sync up to what I'm describing. As this .m4a will make evident, I'm really an audio person at heart, and too many photos/video sort of defeat my purpose of podcasting, but this was a fun experiment that I may mess with from time-to-time.

The regular, photo-less, compressed .mp3 version is on the way, but for now, if you have iTunes or something that will read this kind of thing (seriously, otherwise this is gonna screw you up), enjoy!


Monte-freakin'-forte video!

For all of you who have made Description 05 one of most popular episodes here, and even for those who have no clue what I'm talking about, I bring you the first video I ever shot with my new digital camera: Monteforte at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern last Friday.
I dig your rock.


Description 36 - Janes and Jane's

We walk through The Annex again, but this time we're led by someone who knows what the hell he's talking about - like why's it called The Annex? And what's that lady doing across the street? May include chalk drawings, but no tv shoes.

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Associated links
Doors Open Toronto 2007
Jane's Walk
Angus Skene's Architours
Structures on Rogers Television
Our first stop at the Medical Arts Building
Our second stop at the York Club
Madison Manor Boutique Hotel (part of our third stop)
The Jane's Walk gallery
Spacing Wire blogs about it.
The book Angus recommended about Robert Moses
Jane Jacobs @ Project for Public Spaces
Good ol' Description 17
the TTC's moment of silence

I gotta get a handle on how to read levels in GarageBand. If the start of this episode doesn't blow your ears out like the last episode, you can thank my Australian friend in Second Life. We were in-world together when he got to this blog from my SL profile and started playing Description 35, then said "ouch".

When you look through some of those photos of the walk and you see this person looking kind of uncomfortable in a long black coat accented by a white cable strung across her, that would be me. Move along...

The post in Spacing Wire estimates that a couple thousand people participated in Jane's Walk. Again, the people's interest in their own city without a ton of promotion never ceases to amaze me. If it didn't amaze me, I guess I wouldn't be a proper Torontonian. :-)


Description 35 - Kraft Dinner

In the kitchen, I contemplate the significance of elbow macaroni with frighteningly orange powder; and in a Canadian grocery store, contemplate the significance of tomato soup with cheese portobello mushroom ravioli. With music by The Pursuit of Happiness, Danny Michel in the background, and a certified parking lot freak-out.

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Associated links:
The Official Kraft Dinner site
CBC Midday does Kraft Dinner! (with Brent Bambury!)
Danny Michel: official, MySpace and the fansite.
Buy Danny's new DVD/CD combo! Or get that new album on vinyl or digital download!
Oh, and this was the album I was playing.
Time to plug my TPOH site again.
The Daily Bread Food Bank
SModcast, via Quick Stop Entertainment

Okay, I admit: no one will give their right arm for wild mushroom risotto.

Note that my freak-out was not about losing a huge amount of food, but that I was going to have to talk to someone about it. That should give you an idea about my social nature.

Listening back, I wondered if I was inferring that a lot of immigrants use food banks. Coming from Ohio, I can tell you that folks born and raised are every bit as likely to need them. Anyone can fall on hard times. I guess the points I was trying to make in that wrong inference start with Toronto being such a multicultural place, and that's reflected in the grocery stores. People could be second or third generation Canadians, and carry on the culinary traditions their family taught them, and this isn't easy with peanut butter and no name mac'n'cheese. But beyond that, it isn't even a matter of ethnic food or culture or whatever. It's a matter of quality - of food, of life. Everyone deserves that.

And what are my culinary traditions? Er...Swanson Fried Chicken and Hostess Ho-ho's?

Don't laugh, Yanks. You can't get Hostess Ho-ho's here. Seriously. And Canadians who think they're no different from Swiss Rolls? Just as well you keep thinking that...